Daily Prelims Notes 17 August 2021
- August 17, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
17 August 2021
Table Of Contents
- Opposition Party
- Ad valorem tax
- Oil Bonds
- The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019
- World Drug Report
- The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation
- Uttar Pradesh Population Bill 2021
- WPI Inflation
- The Taliban
- TOP to TOTAL’ Scheme– Mega Food Park Scheme
- RoDTEP Scheme
- Gene banks
- National Start-up Advisory Council
- International Monsoons Project Office
Subject – Polity
Context – No opposition parties in Nagaland Assembly now.
- Leader of Opposition is a statutory office provided for in the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in the Parliament Act, 1977.
- The leader of the party in opposition to the government which has the greatest number becomes the Leader of Opposition. The Speaker needs to recognise him/her as the Leader of Opposition.
- The rule that a party should have at least 10% of the members of the House for the Speaker to recognise someone as the Leader of Opposition is not part of this act.
- G V Mavalankar, the first Lok Sabha Speaker, said the main opposition party’s strength must equal the quorum i.e., 10% of the total strength.
- This point was later incorporated in Direction 121 (1) of the Directions by the Speaker, Lok Sabha, and The Leaders and Chief Whips of Recognised Parties and Groups in Parliament (facilities) Act of 1998.
Subject – Economy
Context – States charge ad-valorem tax on fuel prices.
- Ad valorem tax, any tax imposed on the basis of the monetary value of the taxed item. Literally the term means “according to value.”
- An ad valorem tax is a tax based on the assessed value of an item, such as real estate or personal property.
- The most common ad valorem taxes are property taxes levied on real estate.
- It is typically imposed at the time of a transaction, as in the case of a sales tax or value-added tax (VAT).
Subject – Economy
- Oil bonds are issued by the government to compensate oil marketing companies (OMCs), fertilizer companies and the Food Corporation of India (FCI) for losses borne by them in the process of regulating prices in the domestic market. It was introduced in 2005 to defer the payment of money to the oil marketing companies
- They are akin to government securities. These usually have a long maturity period extending over 15-20 years. Interest payments will be due at fixed intervals during the tenure of the bond.
- These debts are not accounted in the fiscal deficit number of the issuing year. Unlike cash subsidies, there is no direct cash flow. Moreover, oil bonds do not qualify as statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) securities, making them less liquid when compared to other government securities.
- Oil bonds can be traded for liquid cash by sale in the secondary market to insurance companies, banks, and other financial institutions.
- The then government in 2005 took to issuing oil bonds as a substitute for subsidies between 2005 and 2010. High crude prices and the blowback from the recession of 2008 increased fiduciary pressure on the government.
- By raising capital through bonds, these payments could be made in a deferred manner without causing a major escalation in prices, thus insulating customers.
- Between 2005 and 2009, the government issued bonds worth Rs 4 lakh crore. This was done to partially compensate OMCs for recoveries amounting to Rs 2.9 lakh crore.
- Under-recoveries are the difference between the cost of purchasing crude oil in the international market and the price at which petroleum products are sold in the domestic market. In the aftermath of the recession, OMCs were facing large under-recoveries. This presented the government with the dilemma of ensuring financial stability of OMCS, many of which are government-owned, while taking into account political repercussions of allowing fuel prices to rise.
- Oil bonds were chosen as the vehicle to dampen the pressure on OMCs while keeping prices in check.
4. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act 2019
Subject – Governance
Context – Man accused of triple talaq granted bail.
- Declaration of Talaq: The Act makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void (i.e., not enforceable in law) and illegal.
- The Act defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce.
- Offence and Penalty: The Act makes a declaration of talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years imprisonment with a fine
Cognizable Offence: The offence will be cognizable only if information relating to the offence is given by married woman (against whom talaq has been declared), or any person related to her by blood or marriage.
- Bail:The Act provides that the Magistrate may grant bail to the accused. The bail may be granted only after hearing the woman (against whom talaq has been pronounced), and if the Magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.
- Compounding Offence: The offence may be compounded (i.e. the parties may arrive at a compromise) by the Magistrate upon the request of the woman (against whom talaq has been declared).
- Allowance: A Muslim woman against whom talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children. The amount of the allowance will be determined by the Magistrate.
- Custody: A Muslim woman against whom such talaq has been declared, is entitled to seek custody of her minor children. The manner of custody will be determined by the Magistrate.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – HC seeks Centre’s response to petition on data breaches. Plea flags inaction of CERT-In.
- It is an organisation of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, with the objective of securing Indian cyberspace.
- It is the nodal agency which deals with cybersecurity threats like hacking and phishing.
- It collects analyses and disseminates information on cyber incidents, and also issues alert on cybersecurity incidents.
- CERT-IN provides Incident Prevention and Response Services as well as Security Quality Management Services.
- The Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2008 designated CERT-In to serve as the national agency to perform the following functions in the area of cyber security:
- Collection, analysis and dissemination of information on cyber incidents.
- Forecast and alerts of cyber security incidents
- Emergency measures for handling cyber security incidents
- Coordination of cyber incident response activities.
- Issue guidelines, advisories, vulnerability notes and whitepapers relating to information
- Security practices, procedures, prevention, response and reporting of cyber incidents.
- Such other functions relating to cyber security as may be prescribed.
Budapest Convention on Cybercrime: It is the first international treaty that seeks to address Internet and cybercrime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques and increasing cooperation among nations. It came into force in 2004. India is not a signatory to this convention.
Cyber Surakshit Bharat Yojana: It was launched in 2018 by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in association with National e-Governance Division(NeGD) and industry players.It includes awareness programs on cyber security; workshops on best practices and enablement of the officials with cyber security health tool kits.
Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre): It provides for the detection of malicious programs and free tools to remove such programs.
Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C): It was established in 2018 to combat cybercrime in India in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. It functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Subject – Reports and Indices
Context – Agencies brace for rise in drug trafficking. ‘Taliban will rely heavily on drug money’.
- It is published by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
- According to the latest report, Afghanistan reported a 37% increase in the extent of land used for illicit cultivation of opium poppy during 2020 compared with the previous year.
7. The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation
Subject – Economy
Context – ESIC notifies relief scheme for COVID hit
- The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation has notified a scheme for the dependents of ESI insured persons in case of death due to COVID19 that would give a minimum of ₹1,800 a month.
- The scheme would cover the families of the insured who had been registered on the ESIC portal for at least three months before being diagnosed with COVID19 and had been in employment on the date of diagnosis.
- In case of death due to COVID19, the spouse, son up to 25 years of age, unmarried daughter and widowed mother of the insured would be eligible for the relief.
- The scheme, which would be effective for two years from March 24, 2020, would provide for 90% of the average daily wages of the insured to be paid to dependents.
The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation
- Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is responsible for the administration of ESI Scheme.
- ESIC is a statutory corporate body set up under the ESI Act, 1948.
8. Uttar Pradesh Population Bill 2021
Subject – Governance
Context – Two-child policy: U.P. law panel submits draft Bill.
- On World Population Day (11th July),the Uttar Pradesh government announced a new population policy for 2021-2030.
- The policy proposes five key targets:
- population control;
- ending curable maternal mortality and illnesses;
- ending curable infant mortality and ensuring betterment in their nutrition status;
- betterment of sexual and reproductive health-related information and facilities among the youth;
- care of elders.
- The UP-government’s law commission has also prepared a population control bill, under which a two-child norm will be implemented and promoted.
- As per the draft, violation of the policy is penalised with measures such as barring for elections and abidance is rewarded with measures such as promotion in jobs, subsidy etc.
- The Uttar Pradesh government plans to set up a state population fund to implement the measures.
Key suggestions adopted by the commission:
- Special facilities to all families (irrespective of the BPL category) who have only one child and undertake voluntary sterilisation.
- A person who has more than two children after the law comes into force would be debarred from several benefits such as welfare schemes.
Subject – Economy
Context – July WPI inflation slows slightly to 11.2%
- It is the most widely used inflation indicator in India.
- Published by the Office of Economic Adviser, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- All transactions at the first point of bulk sale in the domestic market are included.
- Major criticism for this index is that the general public does not buy products at wholesale price.
- The base year of All-India WPI has been revised from 2004-05 to 2011-12 in 2017.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
- It measures price changes from the perspective of a retail buyer.
- It measures changes over time in the level of retail prices of selected goods and services on which consumers of a defined group spend their incomes.
- Four types of CPI are as follows:
- CPI for Industrial Workers (IW).
- CPI for Agricultural Labourer (AL).
- CPI for Rural Labourer (RL).
- CPI (Rural/Urban/Combined).
- Of these, the first three are compiled by the Labour Bureau in the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Fourth is compiled by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- Base Year for CPI is 2012.
CPI vs. WPI
- WPI tracks inflation at the producer level and CPI captures changes in prices levels at the consumer level.
- Both baskets measure inflationary trends (the movement of price signals) within the broader economy, the two indices differ in which weightages are assigned to food, fuel and manufactured items.
- WPI does not capture changes in the prices of services, which CPI does.
- In April 2014, the RBI had adopted the CPI as its key measure of inflation.
Subject – IR
Context – The rise of Taliban has put Tajikistan in a spot
- Tajikistan lies on Afghanistan’s north-eastern border, adjacent to the Afghan provinces of Badakhshan, Takhar, Kunduz and Balkh.
- The 1200-km border is also home to the junction between the Hindu Kush and Karakoram Mountains, and is characterised by its rocky, inhospitable terrain.
- Today, Tajikistan, a small landlocked Central Asian nation, has a predominantly Muslim population and is largely considered to be undemocratic, volatile, and economically unstable.
Subject – Geography
Context – Haiti is prone to devastating earthquakes.
- Earthquakes have been wreaking havoc in Haiti since at least the 18th century, when the city of Port-au-Prince was destroyed twice in 19 years.
- Haiti is densely populated. Plus, many of its buildings are designed to withstand hurricanes, not earthquakes.
- Haiti sits near the intersection of two plates — the North American plate and the Caribbean plate. Earthquakes can occur when those plates move against each other and create friction.
- Multiple fault lines between those plates cut through or near the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic
Subject – IR
Context – The Taliban entered Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, following a week of rapid territorial gains from retreating government forces battling to hold off the Islamist militant group.
- The Taliban, which means “students” in the Pashto language, emerged in 1994 around the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. It was one of the factions fighting a civil war for control of the country following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union and subsequent collapse of the government.
- It originally drew members from so-called “mujahideen” fighters who, with support from the United States, repelled Soviet forces in the 1980s.
- Within the space of two years, the Taliban had gained sole control over most of the country, proclaiming an Islamic emirate in 1996 with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Other mujahideen groups retreated to the north of the country.
- Following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in the United States by Al-Qaeda, US-backed forces in the north swept into Kabul in November under the cover of heavy US airstrikes.
- The Taliban melted away into remote areas, where it began a 20-year-long insurgency against the Afghan government and its Western allies.
- The Taliban’s founder and original leader was Mullah Mohammad Omar, who went into hiding after the Taliban was toppled. So secretive were his whereabouts that his death, in 2013, was only confirmed two years later by his son.
- During its five years in power, the Taliban enforced a strict version of sharia law. Women were predominantly barred from working or studying, and were confined to their homes unless accompanied by a male guardian.
- Public executions and floggings were common, Western films and books were banned, and cultural artefacts seen as blasphemous under Islam were destroyed.
The Taliban: International recognition
- Only four countries, including neighbour Pakistan, recognised the Taliban government when it was in power. The vast majority of other countries, along with the United Nations, instead recognised a group holding provinces to the north of Kabul as the rightful government-in-waiting.
- The United States and the United Nations imposed sanctions on the Taliban, and most countries show little sign it will recognise the group diplomatically.
13. TOP to TOTAL’ Scheme- Mega Food Park Scheme
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Shri Pashupati Kumar Paras today said that efforts are on for early completion of 19 Mega Food Parks in the country, which are under various stages of implementation.
Operation Green’s TOP to TOTAL’ Scheme
- Objective: The objective of intervention is to protect the growers of fruits and vegetables from making distress sale due to lockdown and reduce the post-harvest losses.
- Eligible Crops: Fruits – Mango, Banana, Guava, Kiwi, Lichi, Papaya, Citrus, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Jackfruit; Vegetables – French beans, Bitter Gourd, Brinjal, Capsicum, Carrot, Cauliflower, Chillies (Green), Okra, Onion, Potato and Tomato.
- Any other fruit/vegetable can be added in future on the basis of recommendation by Ministry of Agriculture or State Government.
- Eligible Entities: Food Processors, FPO/FPC, Co-operative Societies, Individual farmers, Licensed Commission Agent, Exporters, State Marketing/Co- operative Federation, Retailers etc. engaged in processing/ marketing of fruits and vegetables.
- Pattern of Assistance: The Ministry of FPI will provide subsidy @ 50 % of the cost of the following two components, subject to the cost norms:
- Transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre; and/or
- Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops (for maximum period of 3 months)
- The scheme will boost value addition in 22 perishables identified by the Ministry to supplement the income of farmers.
- Government has announced expansion of scope of “Operation Greens Scheme” from Tomato, Onion & Potato (TOP) to 22 perishable products, in the budget speech for 2021-2022
Mega Food Park:
- Mega Food Parks Scheme launched by the government in 2008 provides financial assistance upto 50 crores to setup modern infrastructure facilities for food processing called Mega Food Parks.
- The primary objective of the Scheme is to provide modern infrastructure facilities for the food processing along the value chain from the farm to the market with a cluster based approach based on a hub and spokes model.
- It includes the creation of infrastructure for primary processing and storage near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) and common facilities and enabling infrastructure like roads, electricity, water, ETP facilities etc. at Central Processing Centre (CPC).
- These PPCs and CCs act as aggregation and storage points to feed raw material to the food processing units located in the CPC. The Mega Food Park project is implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which is a Body Corporate, registered under the Companies Act
- The Food Parks will help the farmers of the region growing Litchi, Makhana, Banana, Potato and Maize in large quantities and will provide fresh employment opportunities to women and youth of the area.
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Centre has today notified RoDTEP Scheme Guidelines and Rates (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products). The scheme for zero rating of exports will boost our exports & competitiveness in the global markets
- RoDTEP is a scheme for the Exporters to make Indian products cost-competitive and create a level playing field for them in the Global Market.
- It has replaced the current Merchandise Exports from India Scheme, which is not in compliance with WTO norms and rules.
- The new RoDTEP Scheme is fully WTO compliant scheme.
- It will reimburse all the taxes/duties/levies being charged at the Central/State/Local level which are not currently refunded under any of the existing schemes but are incurred at the manufacturing and distribution process.
- Under the scheme, the embedded central, state and local duties or taxes will get refunded and credited in an exporter’s ledger account with customs.
- This can be used to pay basic customs duty on imported goods. The credits can also be transferred to other importers, the ministry said.
- The RoDTEP rates, conditions and exclusions under which it can be availed would be specified by the department of commerce, based on recommendation of the GK Pillai committee that are expected soon.
- Duties/ taxes/ levies, at the Central, State & local level, borne on the exported product, including prior stage cumulative indirect taxes on goods & services used in production of the exported product, and indirect Duties/ taxes/ levies in respect of distribution of exported products.
- RoDTEP support will be available to eligible exporters at a notified rate as a percentage of Freight On Board (FOB) value. Rebate on certain export products will also be subject to value cap per unit of the exported product.
- Scheme is to be implemented by Customs through a simplified IT System. Rebate will be issued in the form of a transferable duty credit/ electronic scrip (e-scrip) which will be maintained in an electronic ledger by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC).
- Employment Oriented Sectors like Marine, Agriculture, Leather, Gems & Jewellery etc. are covered under the Scheme. Other sectors like Automobile, Plastics, Electrical / Electronics, Machinery etc. also get support. The entire valve chain of textiles also gets covered through RoDTEP.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context : Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the world’s second-largest refurbished state-of-the-art National Gene Bank at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Pusa, New Delhi.
- Gene banks are a type of biorepository that preserves genetic material. Gene banks exist to conserve the genetic diversity of wild and domesticated organisms that humans depend on for food, fiber, medicine & energy
- Types of Gene Banks are Seed Bank, Tissue Bank, Cryo Bank, Pollen Bank ,Field gene Bank , Sperm Bank, Ova Bank
- Gene bank for plants is done by in vitro storage, freezing cuttings from the plant, or stocking the seeds (e.g. in a seedbank). Gene bank for animals is done by the freezing of sperm and eggs in zoological freezers until further need. Gene bank for corals is done by fragments are taken and stored in water tanks under controlled conditions
- Maintaining material in gene banks is often termed ‘ex situ conservation’ which is defined as ‘the conservation of components of biodiversity outside their natural habitats’
- The National Gene Bank established in the year 1996 to preserve the seeds of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations, has the capacity to preserve about one million germplasm in the form of seeds.
- Maintain the genetic integrity of its accessions
- Make the accessions easily available to users of germplasm
- Provide the raw material for plant breeding and basic biological research – Accessions of crop wild relatives are particularly valuable as sources of gene providers
- Provide germplasm for restoration of lost crops after natural or man- made catastrophes
- To conserve the Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations in the form of seeds, genomic resources, pollen etc
16. National Start-up Advisory Council
Context : Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri PiyushGoyal chaired the virtual meeting of “National Startup Advisory Council here today.
- National Start-up Advisory Council is constituted by the ‘Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
- Its role is to advise the Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and start-ups in the country to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities.
- NSAC will nurture Start-ups to aim for higher Competitiveness & make India the Start-up Capital
- The National Start-up Advisory Council will be chaired by the Minster for Commerce & Industry.
- The Council will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by the Central Government.
- The nominees of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, will be ex-officio members of the Council
17. International Monsoons Project Office
Context: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has entrusted India with coordinating the global research on monsoons
- The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has entrusted India with coordinating the global research on monsoons.
- A dedicated office, International Monsoons Project Office (IMPO) was established recently at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.
- It is operating under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, has been leading India’s Monsoon Mission, of which the second phase is nearing completion.
- This office would help channelize and carry out more focused research on monsoons across the world.
- The IMPO will have include bringing collaboration between different monsoon groups pursuing sub-seasonal to seasonal prediction outputs, supporting seminars, workshops, training and events besides carrying out outreach and capacity building exercises among others.
- The WMO will guide IMPO with resource allocation, facilitate interactions with other scientific working groups on monsoons and provide expertise on research activity
- It also integrates , Variability, Predictability and Change (CLIVAR) , one of the core projects of WMO’s World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)
World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
- As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.